H1 no fun

In rare instances, a small dog may fend off a Grizzly Bear.

In rare instances, a small dog may fend off a Grizzly Bear.

Remember that pesky strain of flu that got everyone so hot and bothered a few months back? And remember how one of my favorites underwent the trials of said flu? Once you’ve had a sufficient amount of time to recollect, any guesses as to what I’ve been up to this past week? I’ll give you a hint – health care providers in the Pacific Northwest (which includes Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, in this case – sorry Humboldt) have reported a huge spike in consultations with patients who exhibit influenza-like symptoms. Oink, oink.

The worst thing about having swine flu isn’t the physical manifestations of the flu. That’s not to say that having swine flu is a party, unless you prefer your parties to include fevers, full body aches, lack of appetite, and the need to sleep for almost 12 hours a day. But once those symptoms pass and your body begins to feel better, you’re still under quarantine. Doctors advise that a swine flu victim remain away from his or her regular daily endeavors for 24 hours after a normal body temperature has been reached, but some professionals recommend that you stay home-bound for at least three days after your fever has disappeared.

That is when the most aggravating part about swine flu makes itself known. It is as boring as the night is long. You’re stuck indoors. You can’t be around other people. For the first few days, you barely have enough energy to use the bathroom, let alone do anything productive. And even though the forced exile allows you to do all the lazy blob-like activities you never find time to accomplish, such as viewing all the DVR’ed Discovery Channel programs that have been waiting in your queue for months, the novelty of all that TV starts to wear after a while.

Here are some more side effects of the swine flu that you probably won’t hear about from the CDC:

1) Although anti-viral medications to combat and prevent against the virus exist, you need a prescription from a doctor. And unless you have a regular physician, you might not get one in time for the medicine to work. Urgent care services in Portland, which are probably stretched pretty thin, were told not to offer Tamiflu to people other than the elderly, the expectant mothers, and the already infirm. Bet you thought their mission was to keep everyone healthy. Me, too.

2) I’m sure I’m in the minority, but I’m still on the fence on how much I like Glee. The students sounded like they were squeaking in their version of that Nelly song. It was like being back in the 80s and having to watch those Kidsongs on VHS while I was baby-sitting. Granted, I was totally jealous of all the Kidsongs kids at that point and memorized all their songs out of spite. Maybe I’m a little jealous of the exuberant choir antics, or maybe my old fussbudget self can’t recognize any of the damn music they do. I blame the flu.

3) Even a sick person starts to get pretty squeamish about the state of her bedsheets after a week of the flu.

4) Eventually, curiosity/boredom won and I obtained a copy of the soundtrack to New Moon. The compilation is being touted as the indie album of the year. The perplexing part is that the soundtrack is being distributed by Atlantic, which is not an independent label. The film itself is expected to rake in several millions at the box office, which hardly means that New Moon is being limited to art house theaters. And most of the performers on the soundtrack, such as Death Cab for Cutie and the Killers, are on major labels.

I don’t have a problem with any of these factors, other than the packaging. This is not an indie album. I don’t care if it includes Bon Iver, it’s still not an indie album. It is, however, a slickly produced and star-studded compilation album that shows off the talents of some of the most contemporary names just on the brink of unadulterated mainstream success. And as you might expect from a movie about a lovesick teenage girl who lives in the Pacific Northwest, the soundtrack is best heard when the weather is dank and the preferred action of the day is brood. Of course, a band like Grizzly Bear has been chased by the phrase “quietly haunting” since its first album, so they fittingly appear in the mix, with vocals from Victoria Legrand of Beach House. The track, “Slow Life,” should wistfully reel in fans both new and old. It won’t happen a moment too soon for Grizzly Bear. Their Thursday Portland appearance had at least one fewer attendee due to swine flu. The capacity of this illness reaches everyone.

  • Grizzly Bear with Victoria Legrand ~ New Moon: Original Soundtrack ~ Atlantic

Slow Life

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